Monday, July 23, 2012

Feast of Mary Magdalene

Going by my liturgical calendar, I wish you all a happy Feast of Mary Magdalene, my Lady patroness, companion and inspiration; companion to Jesus who never fled, first witness to the resurrection and Apostle to the Apostles.

There are many myths attributed to my Lady Magdalene and many speculations about who she was, yet the constant about her is her record of consistency following her becoming a disciple of Jesus and the one person recorded by all the gospels as being witness to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. She never faltered. Some take her last name to mean she was from Magdala, which may be true, but in Aramaic, it is true the magdalene means "the tower", which fits her, as when all the male disciples abandoned Jesus in his hours of tribulation, she remained the tower of faithful love for Jesus through the crucifixion and resurrection.

"St Mary Magdalene, you came with springing tears to the spring of mercy, Christ; from him your burning thirst was abundantly refreshed through him your sins were forgiven; by him your bitter sorrow was consoled. My dearest lady, well you know by your own life how a sinful soul can be reconciled with its creator, what counsel a soul in misery needs, what medicine will restore the sick to health. It is enough for us to understand, dear friend of God, to whom were many sins forgiven, because she loved much." --- From a prayer for Mary Magdalene by St. Anselm

The photo is of a beautiful icon of Mary Magdalene written by my friend Sr. Ellen Francis of the Order of Saint Helena. Mary's face is exquisite, full of beauty, sorrow and compassionate love.

Blessings on my Lady's feast!
Peace, Br. John Magdalene

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Of Feasts and Clouds

Driving East on 109, I saw a roadside buzzards' feast interrupted,
leaving a broken buzzard to take its place in the banquet of the dead,
while up ahead, clouds of orange dust gave witness that the woman on her riding mower was mowing more dirt than grass, to which my dog never gave notice, as he was looking out the window, pondering the strange dogs behind the fences mooing their odd barks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Prayer for the Anglican Rosary

This is a prayer for the rosary developed from a series of prayers which came out of meditations I experienced while doing the daily job in my former employment as a Meals on Wheels driver. Atlanta traffic will drive people to rage or prayer and in my case at least, sometimes both: as a result I found myself in more and more frequent prayer and open eyed meditation while driving. There came out these times of driving meditations, seven prayers which coincide with the seven prayer beads separating the cruciform beads. These prayers came to signify to me God’s presence within the daily work in the world, my job, and to remind me of the intention of my life through-out the day, especially in the face of the day to day challenges of remaining centered in Spirit, while performing the day to day tasks of living in the world.

On the Anglican rosary, the cruciform beads, the four large beads, honor the Trinity, which calls on the presence of God as: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The seven smaller beads represent prayers offered in communion with God’s presence. The invocation of the Trinity may represent specific needs for the prayer. For example, I enter into the cycle of prayer intent on healing, so with the first large bead then I usually say, “Heal me, Living God: Loving Father Creator: Loving Brother Healer: Loving Mother Spirit Sustainer.” I repeat this with each large bead, through the cycle of large beads and seven small beads, until I reach the first bead again, which then serves as the last bead (where have you heard that before? And, the last bead will be the first bead when the cycle begins again), and I ask, “Bless me, Living God: Loving Father Creator, Loving Brother Healer, Loving Mother Spirit Sustainer. Amen.” In between the Trinity beads, with the seven smaller beads, I pray these seven prayers:

1. God is love: God is with me now and always.
2. Jesus is the loving compassion at the center of my being: Jesus is with me now and always.
3. She the Spirit is the clarity of my mind, my wisdom, and the joy of my soul: She sustains me now and always.
4. God is the courage and calm of my open heart: God is with me now and always.
5. Jesus is the bearer of my pain and my healing: Jesus is with me now and always.
6. God is my liberation, my restoration, and my transformation: God is with me now and always.
7. God is my energy and my strength: God is with me now and always.

While there are traditional prayers for the Anglican rosary, these prayers represent for me first, a timely and practical instrument to respond to the cycle of activity and emotions which run through the course of the business day. They also remind me of what I need to be sustained, through the confrontations of the day and to keep them in perspective regarding my intention to remain centered in the love of God. This prayer also serves to remind me, that ultimately, I have no control, as I intentionally surrender to the compassion of God as the means to the end of my day… Blessings in Jesus Compassionate